Above Image: Averi Endow, Simulation Theory, oil on panel, 9" x 12", 2016
PoetsArtists will feature interviews of a few artists included in Issue #81, as well as in the upcoming exhibition at Abend Gallery in Denver, CO titled SIGHT UNSEEN. Here, curator Alia El-Bermani speaks with artist Averi Endow.
AE: Could you please introduce yourself? Where do you currently live? Where did you grow up? Did you attend an art school or are you self taught? How did you find yourself an artist?
AEndow: Growing up in the quiet suburbs of South Orange County my only refuge from acute boredom was to create alternate dimensions in my drawings that I could escape in. Through the early years art was my only social currency and an obsessive consistency is what fueled my development in skill. Art didn’t become serious until my early twenties when I discovered oil painting in College where I received a BFA in Drawing and Painting from Laguna College of Art and Design. I used to identify myself more as an “artist” growing up when I was still too naive to know what that word really meant. I found now, post-college, more apt to call myself an obsessed person with a compulsive disorder.
AE: Do you have any kind of creative patterns, routines or rituals that help your production?
AEndow: There’s a specific route that I walk in my neighborhood that serves as a moving meditation. By taking the same path everyday, I don’t have to think about where I’m going which allows me to clear my head and make room for random thoughts to enter. Sometimes this leads to ideas for paintings, but mostly it’s just my way of pushing a mental reset button. Good quality coffee is also a strict requirement and I’m a complete podcast junkie in the studio.
AE: Can you describe your work(s) included in Sight Unseen? How did the ideas for these works come about? How do you see them tying into the theme of Sight Unseen?
AEndow: We often think of childhood as an idyllic time in life, minimizing the fact that it is also a time of extreme fear and anxiety with no coherent outlet. Despite this, children assume a laissez faire attitude towards life that allows them to be present in the moment. I want to reexamine some of the props and imagery aimed at children and present them in a way that may escalate the feelings of uncertainty we carry into adulthood. I am not caught up in wanting to preserve the image in a way that makes it recognizable to everyone. My goal is to toe the line between the known and unknown, keeping the narrative as open to interpretation as possible.
AE: As a follow up, how much does memory come into play as a resource for your work? Are there reoccurring images that seem to continually find their way into your work?
AEndow: Memories sort of drift in and out. I often use memory to tap into a specific feeling I had at some point in my youth. For example, I remember certain family road trips, driving through the desert at night, peering out into the flat black landscape trying to imagine what might be roaming about out there. That quiet, haunting curiosity that comes with that memory gets translated to the image of the clown swing in “Heisenberg.”
AE: As artists, we often go through a sort of series of mini-epiphanies while we work. What has been a most touching or profound moment you've experienced as an artist either in the studio or in dealing with the public?
AEndow: The most consistent thing that never ceases to amaze me happens when I’m in the work. The phenomena of flow state is such an invigorating thing to experience when creating an image, I often find myself getting lost in the process. A constant feeling of coming around full-circle is happening in the studio. In many ways I’m still the same cartoon obsessed kid trying to escape the monotony of adulthood. Play is huge. Misery happens when painting becomes too serious a game.
AE: How do you keep painting from getting too serious for you?
AEndow: Painting can feel like such an audacious thing when you think about the scope of artists who have come before. I often laugh at the absurdity of what I’m actually doing with the majority of my time alone; smashing around mud with sticks. It’s friggin ridiculous really. I’ll put on loud music and dance in the studio when I feel the stakes getting too high with a certain painting. Or I’ll treat myself to ice-cream and french fries, indulge a little.
AE: Thank you Averi for taking the time to help us better understand your intriguing work
To view more of Averi Endow's work visit: http://averipaints.com/.
February 24 - March 25, 2017
Opening Reception Friday Feb 24
Abend Gallery Denver, CO